questions and advice for harvesting a farm raised pig


November 21, 2012, 12:46 AM
So, This pig farmer picks up my stale bread and agreed to trade me the bread for a pig about a year ago. Today he comes in and says that I can have a pig because they're at their prime and he's not going to carry them through the winter. I said OK, I'll be at your place Monday morning.

What caliber? Where do I shoot it?

And how do you make homemade bacon?

I've successfully hunted deer and elk but that is different, they're wild. These pigs are docile so maybe a head shot?

I was thinking 30-30, 44 mag, .22 handgun.

I'm very excited as are my co-workers who will share in the bounty.

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40 rod
November 21, 2012, 01:44 AM
22lr from a rifle is minimum

22mag pistol OK. 22mag rifle ideal. Never use a high velocity varmint round like a .223 40gr +3400 fps it is liable to vaporise on the surface of the skin and not penetrate the skull. .223 fmj will work but may overpenetrate and richochet, as may any 30-30 or larger.
There is quite a bit of good meat in a hogs head, you don't want to blow it up.

22,32 & 38 revolvers may bounce off a pig skull - trust me ...been there done that.

study a pigs skull first , the brain is not much bigger than a walnut. Know the right angle first. Give him something to eat while you line up your shot. It is best to touch the pig's forhead with the muzzle.

My grandfather always used a 16ga single barrel. He would cut open the shotshell and pour out the shot, then wrap up about a 1/4oz in a rag tied with a string,and stuff it back in the shell. It was just enough to knock the pig out cold and the shot would still be wrapped up in the rag. Don't try this on a live pig unless you have worked it out first, - your mileage may vary.

Be Safe & Bon Apitite

November 21, 2012, 08:30 AM
Pig farmers normally have a thumper that's spring loaded that they put against the head in the right spot and pull. Penetrates the skull into their small brain.

A 22LR is all that is needed if you can place the shot. Going throw the head at the back of the ear is the softest spot or through an eye. On the large thread at the top Flint has a cutup view of the pigs head. This will give you an idea of what your dealing with. There is a heavy plate on full grown adult hogs but on young ones this has not developed yet. But like mentioned it can be hard to penetrate.

The one thing you don't want to do is get the pigs adrin up, this will put a bad taste in the meat.


November 21, 2012, 10:49 AM
.22 LR right behind the ear.............That`s how we do it.

November 21, 2012, 11:00 AM
The farmer will probably give you the best advice or do it for you.
I can give you 2 examples of how NOT to do it.
1. While out doing chores my cousin is approached by some guy who he never met before that pulled off the road and asked if he could "buy" one of his hogs for cash. My cousin thinks a bit and says sure. Stranger says, "Which one can I have?" Any one of these here in this lot. In the next instant, mr stranger pulls a .44mag out of his jacket and blasts a hog in the feed lot. Lots of Mud, blood, and squeeling agitated hogs later, he had his hog and instructions to never come back.
2. A friend I grew up with had a hog given to him and he decides to have his first homemade hog roast. He asked me if I would bring a gun over so he could dispatch it. I brought my model 66 S&W and a cylinder full of .38 target loads. After wresting the hog out of the truck and into the back yard with a lariat he says "give me your gun!" I hand it to him and he proceeds to John Wayne cowboy blaze off all 6 rounds, hitting the hog about 3 times in non fatal areas. So he shouts " I need more bullets!" Sorry, no more bullets, says I.
So he jumps on the hogs back and tries to do the deed with his cheap knife, which breaks the blade off in the hogs neck. Knife number 2 is a fish fillet knife. Lots of blood and commotion I never want to witness again.

November 21, 2012, 11:54 AM
As a chef, you might like the cookbook The Whole Beast: Nose to tail Eating by Fergus Henderson, IIRC. Also any books out there on Charcuterie.

Mmmm. Saused hogs face. Forgot about that one...

For bacon, you need to cure the pork belly, and then cold smoke the slabs. A quick google search will give you plenty of cure recipes and smoking times and temps.

Be warned that you should make sure the slabs cross section is meaty. It sucks to do the work and then go to slice rashers and find its 95% fat. If that's the case, just freeze it until its time to make venison sausages..

November 21, 2012, 12:09 PM
2X12 across the top of the gates to stand on , rope already on pigs rear leg, feed the pig a couple pieces of bread soaked in vodka to calm him down,and a well placed railroad driver (sledge will work if needed) on the back of the skull. and down it goes, buddy stands next to ya and slits the throat as soon as it hits the ground and lift it with a loader to bleed grandpa always said don't waste a bullet if you don't have too!!!

First pig I did I decided it was too many years since I had done that way so I opted for the 22 mag. Needless to say after about 20 minutes of chasing and sqealin' :cuss::banghead:(and that crazy look from my 8 year daughter) I decided to go back to the way I learned it and have been doing it ever since. You can stand on a board across a couple of saw horses but be prepaired to do a fast crawl when you hit the ground...and you will..don't ask how I know that. (that day the daughter laughed pretty hard):scrutiny:

November 21, 2012, 12:27 PM
.For bacon, you need to cure the pork belly, and then cold smoke the slabs..
You don't need to cold smoke to make bacon. I think that takes about two weeks.

November 21, 2012, 02:40 PM
.22 LR right behind the ear.............That`s how we do it.
Yep! or right in the ear.

November 21, 2012, 02:43 PM
Most slaughterhouses have a rusted .22 leaned up in the corner that has probably killed more meat than any rifle that has ever been on any African safari. Shoot them right in the middle of the flat spot on their forehead about two inches above their eyes. Some hogs I've shot in the head were as dead as fried chicken but still flopped for a while even after they had given up the ghost. I worked on a pig farm throughout my whole childhood and high school and this is how we always did it.

40 rod
November 22, 2012, 01:06 AM
So we are starting to get a pattern here . lots of advice and an few scary stories. The key here is brain shot not head shot. Brain good, anywhere else embarassing fail. Hog head is the size of bucket, brain like walnut, know anatomy, no problems.

December 4, 2012, 07:35 PM
Well, how's the bacon?

December 14, 2012, 03:34 PM
When I lived in Tennessee we had pigs roasts on most holidays. A pig in the ground &beer on ice! Some shine & what a party. We would grain feed it for about 1mon. before killing it. We used a .22LR. & kept a large knife handy. After cleaning &gutting, into the ground overnight! GREAT EATING. HAPPY HOLIDAYS

December 15, 2012, 12:55 AM
.22 caliber in the ear or right behind the ear, into the brain and its all over.

December 15, 2012, 01:07 AM
Local butcher used a 32 cal behind the ear, put them to sleep for sure.

December 15, 2012, 11:20 AM
We always used a 22 rifle behind the ear angling into the brain. Our pigs were perfectly comfortable with us being in the pen with them so we just filled up the trough and walked up behind our intended victim. It was so noisy they usually didn't even notice when the piggie next to them dropped over. I don't ever recall having anything other than DRT.

December 17, 2012, 10:57 AM
Have you killed him yet?
Has the hog been cut? If not, you're wasting your time IMO.
How big is he? Between 150 to 225 is about right. If they get much bigger than that it's best to just make whole-hog sausage.
.22 or a hammer as said above. All you're looking to do is put him down so you can bleed him. Do a search for a drawing showing where to stick him to bleed him out. If you don't properly bleed him, he won’t be worth eating IMO.
Are you skinning or scalding / scraping? Shinning is a lot easier, but you'll have to freeze or can the meat. If you scald / scrape, you can cure the hams with the midlins (home bacon and it's not like store bought...). Most old farm supplies will have sugar cure. What's the weather like right now in your area? That's going to have a big impact on whether or not you can cure him.

December 18, 2012, 04:14 PM
First of all: you slaughter livestock, ya harvest crops. The heck with political correctness.

December 18, 2012, 09:35 PM
I killed him with the rancher's 17 hmr. I wanted to use my 30-30 but he said no. As soon as he was down, a ranch hand ran in and bled him. Then he skinned and quartered him. Live weight was about 200#. I took the meat home and broke it down further and shared it with my co-workers. It is yummy.

I can't wait until next year.

December 19, 2012, 08:38 AM
That’s great! It’s a very rewarding thing to do. After eating that hog you’ll notice market pork from the grocery store does not have much flavor. Do you know what kind of hog it was?

I haven't killed a hog in 3 yrs. I've built a hog house behind the barn since then and have never put anything in it. I need to get a couple pigs come next summer.

December 20, 2012, 11:32 AM
I realize I am late here, but here goes. Normally we use a 22lr to the front of the head just above the eyes and slightly off centered. I have never had one do anything other than fall over and kick some.

And now for another way...

My brother has some pigs and one of the medium size ones (100 pounds or so) was bothering one of the smaller ones. Well, my brother grabs a stick maybe 18" long and throws it at the pig to get him to quit. The pig was maybe 20 yards away. Well, the stick hits the pig in the head and the pig falls over. He thought that maybe the pig was just unconscious. No such luck. Clean kill, but man was the bro irritated about having to butcher a hog that night...

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